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Transfer of Veterans' Pension legislation

23 April 2001 Media Statement

Transfer of Veterans' Pension legislation and provision for Veterans' Pensioners aged under 65 to be in paid employment

The government is to pass legislation this year to transfer the Veterans' Pension legislation currently under the Social Welfare (Transitional Provisions) Act 1990 to the War Pensions Act 1954.

Prime Minister Helen Clark said the change was long overdue and gives formal recognition to the special status of veterans.

"Decisions on entitlements to all war pensions will now be made by a central body, overseen by the Secretary for War Pensions, rather than being lumped in with other benefits overseen by the Department of Work and Income.

"The government has also decided to include provision for veterans of working age to be in paid employment without losing their entire pension, as they do now.

"This change will also recognise that when veterans are back in a job, some of the conditions they suffer from may resurface and make it difficult to stay in their job.

"Under these changes, the Secretary for War Pensions will have discretion to waive, where appropriate, the need for a stand-down period and/or the need for a medical examination if veterans re-apply for their Veteran's Pension after a period of employment," Helen Clark said.
Minister of Veterans' Affairs Mark Burton said the changes provide the Office of Veterans’ Affairs with more decision making.

"Once the legislation is in place, the Office of Veterans’ Affairs will be able to oversee what is in the best interests of veterans in respect of health needs and employment.

"These new responsibilities, together with the other measures being announced today, will provide for a seamless co-ordinated service to veterans through the Office of Veterans’ Affairs," Mr Burton said.


ENDS



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